Change your mindset, create your own work, & start teaching online.
The days are starting to run together. It’s as though the no man’s land between Christmas and New Years has expanded indefinitely. What day is it? Do I have to put on real clothes? Did I eat breakfast?
I saw a status update on Facebook that captured what most of us are feeling: “This week has been the longest year ever.”
The reality: it’s only just begun.
If you’re like me, your social media feeds are full of affirmations and reminders to stay in good mental and physical shape.
I of course agree with all that. I’ve been walking daily and doing online workouts. I meditate, pray, and reach out to loved ones.
But none of that does anything to replenish a dwindling bank balance. I can’t think money into my checking account.
Or can I?
Three years ago, when I embarked on a journey to transform my financial and emotional life, a change of mindset did result in increased earnings; my spiritual awakening manifested in higher balances.
For several years, I’ve been reading and thinking about entrepreneurship and the generation of multiple revenue streams. I might have gone a bit overboard, voraciously consuming books and podcasts, as well as seeking out business mentors and hiring coaches.
Fortunately, you don’t have to wait three years until you start seeing real results in your own life. You can benefit from my experience.
You still have to do the work, but the lessons I’ve learned can get you there faster.
Hear me out on this one, because it’s not just about thinking positively. I was a broke, truly broke, starving artist for about fifteen years. During that time, I really believed that I was supposed to be broke and that artists were just meant to suffer. I believed that good jobs were hard, if not impossible, to find, and that being broke was a permanent condition of life.
I didn’t just believe this on an intellectual level; I believed it on a visceral, core one, down to my very bones. And guess what (shocker!): the universe delivered what I believed. I believed I could never earn an income that would offer me comfort and stability. So that’s how things panned out.
At a particularly low point, I picked up Jen Sincero’s You Are A Badass at an airport bookstore.
Around the same time, an actor friend recommended Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s mediation series, Desire and Destiny. This combination functioned like a detonator in my brain. Together, they made me see the depths to which I had been sabotaging myself.
Since that day in the airport, I’ve read dozens of books. I compiled on a list here: https://kit.co/melamkl/starving-artist-solution-tool-box
I recommend you start with the same combination I did: Sincero and Oprah/Chopra.
Don’t rely on a summaries. Dust off your Kindle and start reading. You cannot change your money situation without changing your thoughts about money. It’s the law of attraction. You’re home in quarantine (I hope!), so you have time, time you’re likely frittering away on social media (or watching the tenth repetitive news story with no new information about the virus).
2. Uncover your secret project. i.e. Create your own work.
Ten days ago, I wrote a post called Operation Secret Project about the importance of creating your own work and heeding the little whispers of your soul. Have you always wanted to write a play, put together a cabaret, set up a children’s theater, or do standup comedy? Now is the time!
Start by writing a list of all of the secret projects you would pursue if fear and finances weren’t factors.
Choose the one that resonates with you most deeply. You have probably had this secret project idea for a long time, maybe since you were a kid.
And then…get started!
Grab your journal and write an action plan. Put a set list together, research a few songs to add to your cabaret, look up venues in your hometown. Or take an online playwriting class. (I actually just signed up for one via Zoom). Find an online acting teacher and work on monologues. Take guitar lessons online. Block out an hour a day for creative writing and get started on your novel.
Choose ONE GOAL and make it non-negotiable. Give yourself a deadline: I will put together my outline for my one-act play by next Thursday; I will put together a list of 15 songs for my cabaret show.
Creating your own work is a surefire way to take control of your life, and eventually, your finances.
Hold yourself accountable, but don’t pressure yourself to write the next great American novel or Oscar-winning screenplay. The key is getting started, setting a realistic goal, and making progress toward that goal.
It will be fun, exciting, challenging, and rewarding. But most of all, it will put you back in control at a time most of us feel in control of nothing.
This crisis will pass, and when it does, you will look back on the COVID-19 quarantine as time well spent working toward a goal.
This one seems obvious, but I’m urging you, my fellow singers, to stay visible during this brutal period. Don’t become invisible or retreat into the shadows. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a highly trained, experienced artists. Even if you’re still in school, you have valuable skills and insights to share with the world.
If you’re an experienced teacher, you probably already have an online teaching system in place.
But if online or virtual instruction is new to you, there’s no time like the present to dive in!
Here are a few tips:
- Ask a current teacher to train you to teach online. Pay for his/her/their time.
- Start polling your audience. Ask friends on social media if they would like free 15 minute lessons and start practicing on friends.
- Email your friends and family that you would like to get started and could they help refer you to students for a free 15 minute lesson.
- Do a Facebook or Instagram Live where you teach one skill, e.g. Learn to Belt in Today’s Live Cal.
- Start collecting emails of potential students.
Once you have yourself set up, email a schedule and payment method (Venmo, Zelle, Paypal) and begin. Even 2-3 lessons a week will change your perspective. Can you quit all other work and live on the money from a few lessons? Of course not. But every little bit helps. And money earned as a solo businessperson is uniquely satisfying. It feels different from money earned working for someone else. You will see.
The best part? You’re in charge. If you feel more comfortable with 30 minute lessons, start there. Or if you prefer to teach to a group, ask for for $10 donations. If you feel more comfortable with 30 minute lessons, start there.
My KIT also contains many books on starting and launching your own business. You’ll find that shifting your money mindset and building self-worth are inextricably linked.
So there it is: three ways to start taking control of your financial life.
No, this doesn’t happen overnight. But it doesn’t have to take years, either! Once I really committed to transformation, my voice studio quadrupled in a matter of months. I read one book a month and started to see changes almost immediately.
Make a decision, and start.
I believe in you!
If you are serious about taking your financial status to the next level: I have created an online course that takes you through nine steps to skyrocketing your career. Use code CSMUSIC for 30% off.